Lee Pulliam Checks the Thanksgiving All-Star Classic Off His Bucket List with Emotional Victory

Pulliam Victory Lane

Kenly, NC – The field was set for the 15th running of the Thanksgiving All-Star Classic hosted by Southern National Motorsports Park. A race that has slipped through the grasp of multi time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champ Lee Pulliam. After winning his third national title, fifth South Boston 200 race in a row, finally winning the Hampton Heat 200, Pulliam set his sights on the VA Triple Crown, All-Star Classic, and the unofficial “Grand Slam” of Late Model Racing.

Pulliam, a threat to win at just about any track he pulls into, has an extensive notebook and plenty of laps to boot here at SNMP so you knew he was going to be strong. Setting the third fastest time in group qualifying Saturday afternoon and holding that position during the heat race, that is where he rolled off for today’s 200-lap feature event.

 

P1. #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
P2. #08 Deac McCaskill
P3. #5 Lee Pulliam
P4. #2 Myatt Snider
P5. #77 Connor Hall

Once the green flag was displayed to the field it almost looked to get ugly and fast through turns one and two. Pole sitter Tommy Lemons, Jr. got a tad bit squirrely through the corner. With the quality of drivers behind him, they all allowed him gather himself up back up and get to some pretty good green flag racing. Pulliam would actually spend the first quarter of the race hanging out in third just biding his time before he would make his move to the front, the caution on lap 50 would help with that as it allowed him to take the inside of the cone and restart right on the bumper of race leader Tommy Lemons.

Pulliam would spend the next twenty-five laps sizing up his opponent; making what looked like “mock runs” on the race leader figuring out what move to make to take the top spot away. Finally pulling the trigger out of two as the field worked lap 74, Pulliam pulled even to Lemons door and it was a drag race down the backstretch. With the top groove just about non-existent here this weekend, Pulliam was able to motor his Kiker Tree Services #5 Chevy to lead at lap 75 and never looked back!

No one would have much of anything for Pulliam through out the rest of the race; have to give credit to McCaskill for taking the cone just about every restart and truly making Pulliam work for his money. The victory was truly an emotional uplift for Pulliam and his family after wife LeAnne was involved in a major car accident Thanksgiving morning requiring her to be air lifted to the hospital.

“We weren’t even going to be here a few days ago when my wife had that accident,” Pulliam said in victory lane. “Just very thankful that she is still with us, its unbelievable that she is here today with all the stuff she has been through, I am just thankful. The guys gave me a great car; we made the right moves at the right time. It’s been a pretty emotional week you know, I wasn’t even going to come race this deal, just stay home and take care of her. She was pretty adamant, she said I belong at the racetrack and I need to be here. I am just glad I could win it for her.”

With the chance to put four fresh stickers on the car and make adjustments at the halfway break we asked Pulliam what changes were made to the car to allow him to get the victory.

“We felt like we were really good there and I felt like our next set of tires were going to be really good,” Pulliam told us. “We just got the lead there and I was able to keep the thing on the bottom and everyone ran single file there nose to tail and protecting the bottom. Just gotta think everybody for really racing everyone clean, it could of gotten pretty ugly there. We were just able to save enough for the end there and go hard and able to pull away, just really thankful that it all worked out.”

 

Results

P1. #5 Lee Pulliam; 200
P2. #2 Myatt Snider; 200
P3. #08 Deac McCaskill; 200
P4. #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.; 200
P5. #44 Justin Johnson; 200
P6. #55 Mark Wertz; 200
P7. #13 Clifton Daniels; 200
P8. #1 Mike Darne; 200
P9. #88 Chris Davis; 200
P10. #03 Brenden Queen; 200
P11. #63 Tyler Matthews; 200
P12. #77 Connor Hall; 200
P13. #97 Brian Henderson; 199
P14. #50 Haley Moody; 189
P15. #4 Jonathan Findley; 176
P16. #10 Nick Smith; 132
P17. #41 Scott Wise; 113
P18. #67 Danny Edwards, Jr.; 104
P19. #29 Robert Bruce; 1

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